Tokyo Tribe

Film Review by Josh Slater-Williams | 14 May 2015
Film title: Tokyo Tribe
Director: Sion Sono
Starring: Ryôhei Suzuki, Young Dais, Riki Takeuchi, Tomoko Karina, Akihiro Kitamura, Hiroko Yashiki, Shôta Sometani, Kokone Sasaki, Nana Seino, Haruna Yabuki
Release date: 22 May
Certificate: 18

Bringing “slammin’ beats from the ass-end of hell,”, Sion Sono’s manga adaptation Tokyo Tribe is a hysterical hybrid of The Warriors, Yakuza movies and Escape from New York, spliced with video games Jet Set Radio and Streets of Rage, and a dash of Scott Pilgrim. Also, it’s a candy-coloured rap-battle musical where maybe 15% of the dialogue isn’t sung or grunted to some kind of beat. So in that sense it’s like The Umbrellas of Cherbourg but with added beatboxing, tanks, Clockwork Orange-riffing human furniture and virgin sacrifices to Satan. Fun for all the family.

For those willing to fully embrace the two hours of constant extreme but tight formalism, which can admittedly be exhausting on occasion, Sono’s delirious oddity of gang warfare and renewed hope offers a phantasmagoric world unlike much else visualised in live-action cinema. There’s one real bugbear, though: there are a few too many references, depicted or uttered, to sexual violence aimed at women, which sits uncomfortably alongside the film’s more cartoonish brutality elsewhere. [Josh Slater-Williams]

Released by Eureka! Entertainment